I’ve been a bit busy with real life, but managed to sit down this past week and download the new beta stuffs, then putz around through several crashes (something buggy with the ambient sound) until I finally went through my first beta instance run last night.
And Beast Mastery? Is fun.
I mean, I love playing the spec, one way or another. But I think where hunters are going in Cata is a very GOOD thing, and last night was an exercise in trying to find a rotation, or priority, and failing. That’s not to say it doesn’t exist – I’m not the type of theorycrafter to tug each spell apart myself and figure out what needs to go where and when. And I’m still operating without my addons, so my efficiency is definitely lacking (for example, I keep forgetting to keep Serpent Sting up). But here, let me tell you about our run last night.
First of all, the BMR Away Team had a full five-man ready to go into the Abyssal Maw. Except whenever we went into the instance, we got a fatigue bar that started ticking down. Also, we disconnected every time we went into the instance. So Abyssal Maw was scrapped for Blackrock Caverns, where our healer ran into such terrible cursor trouble (everything she moused over made her crash) that we ended up four-manning the instance. That’s right, first time through a place at level (I’m only 81) and we’re four-manning.
My guild? Love it. :D
I’d mentioned before that Kill Command couldn’t possibly be in its final incarnation, and I was right. Blizz put it on the GCD, as well as giving it a 6-second cooldown. This is a very, very good thing. It means it can’t be macro’d to any other shot, so that gives us another level of intelligent thought in combat. It also means that it can’t be constantly spammed until we’re out of focus, which was such a boring thing to do I wasn’t even having fun questing. Now that it has a cooldown, I find I’m looking at what shots I can get in between Kill Commands, as well as orchestrating them so I keep my focus up for that and other fun things. So that’s awesome.
Second awesome thing about Kill Command? When it crits (and in the short log I took, it was cast 14 times and every single one was a crit) it does damage equivalent to or higher than our current Kill Shots. So basically, we’re doing a Kill Shot’s worth of damage every 6 seconds. YES PLEASE.
I finally got a hold of Cobra Shot at level 81 and used it to replace Steady Shot. For the most part I fall into a pattern of Kill Command, Arcane, Cobra, Arcane, Cobra, Kill Command, repeat, but that doesn’t always hold true. Sometimes Serpent Sting needs refreshing (something I need to keep a closer eye on), and sometimes Multi Shot needs thrown out.
Oh yes, Multi Shot!
I was very unhappy when Volley was yanked. I know using Volley over and over could get boring, but it was better than nothing! It didn’t help that I noticed Volley was gone right when I needed it to fend off a horde of tiny things on a quest. Nonetheless.
The new Multi Shot is a great compromise. I’m not sure what the official effect is, as the tooltip has all zeroes for its numbers, but what happens is less of an AoE and more of what Volley was supposed to be. You shoot it at one target and it hits, then bounces off to hit every other mob within so many yards. It does very decent damage, is on the GCD, has no cooldown, and can be cast while moving. After seeing it in action in Blackrock Caverns, I can definitely say that the new Multi Shot makes me okay with losing Volley.
So that’s things as they stand now. Two of the three venoms have been yanked from the game, leaving only Widow Venom, which is a reduced Mortal Strike effect. I’m still leveling (slowly) and getting a feel for what me and my pet can do now. But I think, as usual, the logs can speak for themselves: